A warmer, snowless winter?

Linda Gallagher

REGION — Although colder temperatures this week has allowed the region's lake-effect snow machine to kick in, bringing as much as eight inches of snow by the weekend, according to local meteorologists, it's possible both Antrim and Kalkaska counties may see a warmer, relatively snowless winter. 

"The trend this winter has been for a short period of cold and snow, followed by a longer period of dry, warmer weather," said National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Bogugh of the NWS's Gaylord radar station Monday. "That's a trend that we think will continue."

With an almost total lack of snow until now, northwestern lower Michigan is seeing record-low snowfall, with just 34 inches of snow in the Gaylord area as of Jan. 14, Bogugh pointed out, the lowest snowfall recorded since the NWS began keeping records in the area in the 1920s. The Traverse City area has recorded near-record low snowfall levels of 12.8 inches as of Jan. 14, with only 2013 lower than that, with just 12.4 inches of total snowfall for the season. 

Just 26 inches of snow had fallen in Mancelona during the same period this winter, according to the Antrim County Road Commission, with a whopping 33 inches as of Tuesday afternoon. 

"Those are the lowest levels I've seen here since I started here in Gaylord in 2006," Bogugh said. "I have never seen the snowmobile trails completely bare of snow out here in mid-January, and yet that's the case right now."


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